Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Lady Dedlock faints when she ___________.

2. What is notable about the children at Tom's All-alone?

3. The Smallweed home holds ___________.

4. Mr. Krook's death is attributed to ___________.

5. What has become of the inheritance which is the issue of the Jarndyce lawsuit?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the ending of the story. What is Dickens' intention when he allows Esther to live on happily after all that has taken place?

2. What is the point of Esther, Ada, and Richard spending a night at the Jellybys'? What does Dickens accomplish with this break in their journey toward Bleak House?

3. Describe Mrs. Jellyby's compassion for humanity. Is she a rational person?

4. What is interesting about Smallweed demanding money for the letters he once had in his possession?

5. George has been a wayward son of Mrs. Rouncewell's and has only now reacquainted himself with his brother. What is the new connection between them?

6. Discuss Krook's Rag and Bottle Shop? Is he a good businessman? Is there anything symbolic about the shop?

7. With all of his physical and mental deficiencies, why would Grandfather Smallweed make the trip to George's shooting gallery?

8. How likely is it that Mr. Jarndyce would simply bow out and suggest Esther marry Woodcourt? Is this just common courtesy or this time in England?

9. Is Mr. Guppy appropriately named? Why, or why not?

10. Describe the relationship between the married Dedlocks, Sir Leicester, and Lady Dedlock.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a well-researched paper about England's system of currency in the 1800s. Determine the name of each denomination and approximately what it was worth, or what it could buy. When did the system change and why?

Essay Topic 2

Write a researched essay about hair powder. The Dedlocks' servants were described as using powder. What was the origin of this practice? From what was it made? What was the societal implication of wearing hair powder? Discuss the taxes levied on hair powder, and the course of its popularity.

Essay Topic 3

The issue of suicide is raised several times in Bleak House. Dickens makes it seem almost a common topic of discussion, if not a common occurrence. Try to find some research that sheds light on the suicide rate in England during the 1800s, and see if you can draw any parallels with the economic condition of the country at that time.

(see the answer keys)

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